Croatia vs Denmark: Croatia win penalty shootout to reach quarter-finals | Football News
They might have wrapped up the outcome 5 minutes from the top of additional time however Luka Modric had his penalty saved by Kasper Schmeichel.
Nevertheless, the Croatia captain returned to bravely take one of many post-match kicks as goalkeeper Danijel Subasic save three of Denmark’s efforts to arrange a quarter-final assembly with Russia on Saturday.
It was Modric’s chic cross that put Ante Rebic by way of on purpose, earlier than being introduced down by Mathias Jorgensen, and supplied Croatia an opportunity to win simply earlier than the lottery of the shootout. However Schmeichel made a sensible save to maintain the 1-1 stalemate intact by way of two hours of at instances pedestrian soccer.
Two chaotic targets within the opening 4 minutes made for a rollicking begin on the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium. Nevertheless, it proved a false daybreak because the spectacle light with either side selecting warning as their precedence given the uncommon probability to succeed in the final eight at a World Cup.
Jorgensen took all of 57 seconds to breach the Croatia defence on the finish of an extended throw-in by Jonas Knudsen, stabbing on the ball together with his left foot as he took it off staff mate Thomas Delaney.
Croatia goalkeeper Danijel Subasic bought a hand to Jorgensen’s toe-poke however successfully deflected the ball throughout his personal line.
There was a component of comedy to the fourth-minute equaliser for Mario Mandzukic as Denmark’s early benefit shortly disappeared.
A kick throughout the Danish defence was firmly hit away by Henrik Dalsgaard however straight into the face of staff mate Andreas Christensen, making a pinball impact that noticed the ball fall for Mandzukic, who then expertly turned it into the online from shut vary.
The anticipated affect of Christian Eriksen for the Danes and Croatia’s Modric held out hopes of extra mouth-watering motion however their craft was solely evident in patches.
Eriksen did shave the highest of the woodwork simply earlier than halftime with a speculative effort whereas, on the different finish, Ivan Rakitic pressured a sensible save from Schmeichel.
After the interval, the probabilities had been much more sparse though Croatia did up the tempo in the direction of the top of regulation time solely to run right into a resolute Denmark defence.
In additional time, Knudsen’s lengthy throws proved essentially the most harmful attacking weapon however ultimately it was penalties that delivered a winner.